Hey there! Sign in to have your say on this topicNew here? Join for free to post

Test your mortality with these questions

Announcements Posted on
  1. Offline

    (Original post by tesmifami)
    OK here is a thought experiment with two questions it is not original and you might have heard of it. I urge everyone to just give their answers and not ruin it for others especialy if you have heard this before after a while (depending on how many people answer and how quickly) i will respond and tell everyone the explanation. Im really curious for the answers i think a few people will fail this. This is not a riddle i am not trying to trick you out in the text i am trying to explain it as well as possible but it is hard.

    Ok here goes :

    1) imagine a madman ties 3 people to a train track - 2 of these are on the track that the train is currently heading in the other one is on a track that the train can turn off into. so remember 2 people are tied to the track in front of the train and one person is tied to the track that the train could turn onto. You have a lever which can make the train turn onto the track with only one person, this will mean that one person is killed not two. do you pull the lever killing one person and saving two yes or no?

    2) ok in this scenario there is only one track and two people are tied to it, the train can not turn onto any other track. you are watching the train approaching the two people from an open platform and next to you is a man who is fat enough to block the train which would stop it from killing the two people tied to the tracks ( i know its unrealistic but go with it) but he is not willing to jump you would have to push him and force him physically off the platform in front of the train which will stop it from running over the people. do you push him yes or no? imagine you would not go to prison for this thought experiment there is no one around.

    remember i am not trying to trick you in the wording its not a riddle at all when i reveal the answer if you got it wrong hopefully you will find it interesting. and yes there is 'right' and 'wrong' to these questions.

    please label your answers 1 and 2 and say yes or no
    1) no

    I will not murder.
    To make someone a means to an end? No!
  2. Offline

    I thought about it and came to the conclusion as OP said that both theoretically are the same. I do think both acts are quite different though and not of the same standing. It's just a silly test too as it's unrealistic and will never happen to you though so i don't think you can judge anything by it.
  3. Offline

    No, to Q1 and Q2.
  4. Offline


    You seriously think committing murder/manslaughter is the same as not preventing it? Now that is flawed morality

    EDIT: first answer would depend on who the people were, i'm not a christian who believes everyone is worth the same
  5. Offline

  6. Offline

    1) yes
    2) no

    But I'm not sure how this will somehow make me immortal if I answer a certain way :P
  7. Offline

    (Original post by Melancholy)
    My reason for saying no is that I fundamentally don't see why a multiple of lives (two lives) outweighs just one life, and therefore I lack moral motivation to pull the lever. But also, I think there may be something morally significant about me intentionally killing one person.
    Is there a limit to that belief? What if, instead of two lives, there was 100?
  8. Offline

    No and No. I couldn't actively kill somebody. Either way, people die, there's nothing I can do to change that unfortunately, but I'm not going to actively change a situation whereby I'm the one putting somebody who was not previously in harms way, into harms way.
  9. Offline

    I have heard of these before, i think the organ scenario would have been a good one to put in .

    1) No.
    Well to pull the lever it would be consciously choosing to kill the other person. But, if you were not on that train then the two people would be killed anyway.

    2) No
    You would also be directly responsible for the fat man's death. Are the people's (on the track) lives are worth more than than one man? I imagine that it would be quite hard to push the man anyway.
  10. Offline

    1. No
    2. No

    By pulling the lever I would have killed someone. If I don't intervene, then I haven't killed anyone. Perhaps not good reasoning, but I don't think I could have lived with myself if I had to kill someone to save someone else.
  11. Offline

    1 - no
    2 - no
  12. Offline


    Whoever tied them there killed them. I believe i dont have the right to play with peoples fates like that. my opinion anyways.
  13. Offline

    1 - Yes
    2 - No
  14. Offline

    1. Yes
    2. No. But really, it depends on whether he dies or not.
  15. Offline

    (Original post by Stevo F)

    You seriously think committing murder/manslaughter is the same as not preventing it? Now that is flawed morality

    EDIT: first answer would depend on who the people were, i'm not a christian who believes everyone is worth the same
    Surely the first scenario is also murder/manslaughter though? Pulling a switch knowing it will divert the train into killing a different person is still knowingly killing someone.
  16. Offline

    (Original post by spacepirate-James)
    Is there a limit to that belief? What if, instead of two lives, there was 100?
    I don't see why there'd be a limit to that belief.
  17. Offline

    I'd pull the lever half-way, derailing the train


Submit reply


Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. Oops, you need to agree to our Ts&Cs to register
  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: June 8, 2012
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Today on TSR

OCR Physics Breadth exam

Chat about the exam here

Are you registered to vote in the EU referendum?
Useful resources
Quick reply
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.